Congressional candidate Dean Tran indicted for theft

Attorney General Maura Healey says Tran stole gun from elderly constituent

REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL candidate and former Fitchburg state senator Dean Tran was indicted Friday on charges that he stole a firearm from an elderly constituent, then misled investigators about the incident.

CommonWealth first reported on the allegations in April 2020 and said the attorney general’s office and the Fitchburg police were investigating Tran over an incident involving an elderly Fitchburg woman related to guns belonging to the woman’s late husband.

Based on the indictment returned Friday, Attorney General Maura Healey alleged that in June 2019, Tran used his position of trust as a public official to intimidate an elderly constituent into parting with her late husband’s firearms, making her sign a pre-prepared contract and giving her $1,500 in cash for at least eight guns.

When asked to return them the next day, he did. But he came back early the following morning and allegedly forced his way into the constituent’s home while she was alone, demanded the keys to her husband’s gun safe, and stole a Colt .45 while the constituent hid in her bedroom, Healey’s office charged. The gun was returned to the constituent at a later date.

When interviewed by police about the incident, Tran allegedly gave multiple conflicting stories and reasons for taking the guns away. Healey said he denied any type of firearm sale, later producing a sales contract for the weapons, and disparaged the constituent’s mental capacity, then  demanded a written apology from her.

Healey also says Tran made false statements on his 2019 application to renew his gun license.

A Worcester grand jury indicted Tran, 46, on charges of larceny of a firearm, larceny over $250 from a person who is elderly or disabled, filing an application for a license to carry containing false information, obtaining a signature by false pretenses with intent to defraud, misleading a police investigation, and stealing by confining or putting in fear.

An arraignment date has not yet been set.

Tran and his attorney could not immediately be reached.

This is not Tran’s first controversy. In March 2020, Tran, then a state senator, was stripped of his leadership position after an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee found that Tran had used his taxpayer-funded Senate staff to regularly conduct campaign activities, including fundraising. He denied wrongdoing. Tran lost his reelection bid in 2020.

Meet the Author

Shira Schoenberg

Reporter, CommonWealth

About Shira Schoenberg

Shira Schoenberg is a reporter at CommonWealth magazine. Shira previously worked for more than seven years at the Springfield Republican/MassLive.com where she covered state politics and elections, covering topics as diverse as the launch of the legal marijuana industry, problems with the state's foster care system and the elections of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker. Shira won the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2018 award for Excellence in Legal Journalism and has had several stories win awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Shira covered the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary for the Boston Globe. Before that, she worked for the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, where she wrote about state government, City Hall and Barack Obama's 2008 New Hampshire primary campaign. Shira holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

About Shira Schoenberg

Shira Schoenberg is a reporter at CommonWealth magazine. Shira previously worked for more than seven years at the Springfield Republican/MassLive.com where she covered state politics and elections, covering topics as diverse as the launch of the legal marijuana industry, problems with the state's foster care system and the elections of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Charlie Baker. Shira won the Massachusetts Bar Association's 2018 award for Excellence in Legal Journalism and has had several stories win awards from the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Shira covered the 2012 New Hampshire presidential primary for the Boston Globe. Before that, she worked for the Concord (N.H.) Monitor, where she wrote about state government, City Hall and Barack Obama's 2008 New Hampshire primary campaign. Shira holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Now, Tran is running against Democratic US Rep. Lori Trahan for the House seat representing the 3rd Congressional District.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated.